What are, in your opinion, the movies that heavily influenced how movies were made or expected to look (aesthetics, realism, etc.) after they first appeared?
First that comes to mind is Kubrik's 2001: Space Odissey.
Followed by R. Scott's Blade runner.
Saving Private Ryan was also a game changer IMO.
Texas Chainsaw massacre defined the gore genre, pretty much.
The Matrix maybe?
I give credit to the Scott brothers for the broadstrokes of what action movies look after the 70s/80s but that is just my personal opinion.
What say you?
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I'd also have to include Star Wars.
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Can't really put my finger on exactly how Alien changed movie making, but I suspect it did in terms of sci-fi suspense. Aliens was also groundbreaking, and I still see it's influences today.
I think it was Misery that started the "you think the bad guy/girl is dead, but they're not!" trend, but could be wrong. Of course, it could have been The Terminator that really started it.
Edit: Fatal Attraction came before Misery. I never watched it, but seem to recall it had a seemingly unkillable protagonist.
Bullitt - changed the way car chase scenes were to be recorded and is considered the most influential car chase.
"Alien" introduced gritty SF, as opposed to the squeaky-clean high-tech universes à la "Star Trek" or "2001" (or space opera like "Star Wars"). Though I once raised eyebrows when claiming in a movie seminar at uni that Ridley Scott seemed to have been influenced by the visuals and score of "2001".
"The Night of the Living Dead" definitely changed the horror genre. Then there are the early textbook examples - Fritz Lang's "Nosferatu" and "Metropolis", and by comparison rather obscure, "The Andalusian Dog" by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali. Only 16 minutes long, a largely plotless sequence of surreal scenes, but can be said to have introduced gore with the famous montage where a razor seems to cut into a woman's eye.
"Citizen Kane" and "Magnificent Ambersons" - Orson Wells.
Fast pace, great camera angles, excellent direction. Wells pissed off the Movie Moguls with his style, too.
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Wings. (the 1927 original)
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I would say Heat with its realistic sounding gunfire on the streets of LA. But I’ve heard a lot of movies since that have a lot of fake gunshot sound effects.
Another vote for Citizen Kane.
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"A Fistful of Dollars" was the Eurowestern to change the genre even in the US. "Pulp Fiction", while not Tarantino's first movie, was certainly style-forming.
Not to forget that "The Blair Witch Project" triggered a flood of "found footage" movies.
The Life of an American Fireman 1903 - first coherent use of film editing
The Great Train Robbery 1903 - complex narrative film-making
Don Juan 1926 - first synchronized soundtrack
The Jazz Singer 1927 - first human voice in a motion picture film (discounting experimental and promotional shorts, and brief, incidental occurences, such as in Murnau's Sunrise)
Becky Sharp 1935 -first three strip Technicolor motion picture film (discounting experimental and promotional shorts). Earlier color films (two strip Technicolor and the like) did not produce natural color
Fantasia 1940 -first stereophonic soundtrack
The Robe 1953 -first widescreen motion picture
A Star is Born 1976 - first use of Dolby multichannel soundtrack
Rainbow 1996 - first motion picture shot digitally and in High Definition
Toy Story....first movie to completely use computer generated animation
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs....first feature length animated movie
Jaws...started the Summer blockbuster movement, and emphasized the importance of when movies are released and target audiences
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Some may disagree, but I think Saving Private Ryan introduced a gritty combat realism, especially with the D-Day landing scenes, that nobody had ever seen before. There were guys who were actually there on the landings that survived and watched the film and had flashbacks and said that all it was missing were the smells. Yes, we've seen blood and gore and people shot in movies for decades. But for me, that was a turning point in movies featuring that sort of content matter.
Braveheart, I would nominate as another one for similar reasons.
* Edit- 11k posts. Damn, tempus fugit.
I agree with many here. One I can think of off the top of my head, and there may be others like it made prior, but I see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as a guy/buddy movie that set a tone for future buddy movies.
'The Exorcist' took horror films to another level
also -- as mentioned 'Jurassic Park' holds up well as one of the first major films to do CGI so realistically
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